1st February 2023 – Today, we visited selfhelp groups at Lake Victoria, Kenya. Besides running several centers together with local NGOs in Bungoma county and Eldoret, we are active also in several communities in Homabay county together with our local partner Wa-Wa, under the umbrella of the Making More Health Initiative.
HIV infections are widely spread among the local women and men are and “Fish for Sex” is very common. The families have no access to good nutrition, live in very needy conditions and do not have access to health as they can not even pay for basic health insurance (NHIF) and are unable to pay treatments. Also housing and the payment for the school fees for the children is a huge challenge.
Prostitution is often the only way for women to have access to fish and to earn some money
Prostitution is very common and a way for women to get access to some fish. “Sex for fish”’ is practiced from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters. Also young children are part of it. Even knowing about the health issues that might be connected to these practices, sex is the way to pay – and to survive.
Together with our local NGO partner Wa-Wa, we invest in small income generation training sessions, soap making and poultry to create alternative income sources.
With ongoing selfhelp group training sessions in various locations, called “He4She” and “She4Him”, better living conditions, more health and no prostitution can become a reality. It is important that also men participate in the training sessions to enable them to get access to mental well-being and to a lot of basic skills. This is key to think and act differently in the communities.
Selfhelp group Rusinga, consisting of 2/3 women and 1/3 men has started to set up various poultry shelters. Still a lot of materials f(fencing, sheets to cover the roof, wood and painting, feeders… ) are missing. First community toilets are under construction.
The big dream
The big dream of the Rusinga selfhelp group: owning their first own fishing boat that they want use together to bring more health and wealth into the community. Prostitution-free. Where neither the fisher men depend on other fisher boat owners nor prostitution is longer needed to survive.
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Great Initiative. Curious to learn about the medium term results that occurred as part of the training